Where should my baby sleep?

Tips to consider when choosing your Baby’s Sleep Environment.

Where a baby is “supposed to” is a common discussion for all new parent’s. There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of baby sleeping arrangement.

The most common baby’s sleep environments are: cot, bassinet, bedside sleeper, parent’s bed, hammock, bouncy seat, car seat, stroller and swing.

Advantages to having your baby in your room:

1. Recommended by The World Health Organisation for the first 6 months.

2. You are able to respond quicker in case of emergency.

3. Baby is closer for feeding.

4. Baby does not get as worked up to get your attention and will settle more quickly and peacefully.

Disadvantages to having a baby in your room:

1. Babies are noisy. It takes time to understand their “noises”!

2. If bed sharing, it will be harder for your baby to settle if being looked after by someone else.

3. It takes some time for gentle transitioning from your room into baby’s own room.

4. It can be a little inconvenient relationship wise having a baby in your room.

Advantages of having a baby in its own room:

1. Maintain your bedroom as your own space.

2. Unhindered intimacy (when your baby is asleep).

3. A greater tendency to leave your room to tend to your baby. May suit your partner and work schedules better.

Disadvantages of a separate room:

1. The need to physically get up and feed during the night esp winter’s nights.

2. Can be more difficult to settle your baby back to sleep- depending on temperament.

3. Missing the closeness of your baby.

4. Continual worry about your baby’s well-being. Many new mums get up and constantly check on their baby- can then actually wake them up to see if they are ok.

Your Birth Your Choice

 

 

 

 

Tips on dealing with Mummy Sleep Deprivation

Ah so you finally got your little one off to sleep BUT you toss and turn for the next 2 hours and then the sun comes up! Here are some sleep tips for MUM to get you sleeping like your baby is.

If you wake in the middle of the night- don’t look at the clock. Your baby does not know and do not care what time it is. Keeping a track of the number of hours that you sleep, does not make you any less tired. Calculating how many hours to you need to get up, just adds to frustration. Sleep experts know you don’t need to replace lost sleep hour by hour- just deep sleep (REM sleep)- the state of sleep you easily slip into when you are very tired. Practice progressive relaxation techniques. These work for releasing tension very quickly. If possible remove ALL electrical devices from your bedroom (excluding clock). Less temptation to check emails/facebook/twitter/pinterest in the middle of the night!

Keep lists: shopping lists, lists of chores you must absolutely do, and lists of other help to delegate if someone offers. When you write everything down, you free yourself of having to remember details at a time when you are most apt to be forgetful and preoccupied.

At night, do as much as you can to get ready for the next day. Set the table for breakfast, lay out clothes for yourself and baby, restock nappy bags etc Any nuisance chores and decisions you can handle ahead of time make the day start that much better.

Cut down on time-consuming trips around town pre-planning by phone, internet, or through catalogues whenever you can. Try to do several errands whenever you are out, and plan them so you waste the least possible amount of time driving around. When you are exhausted the thought of even getting in the car seems like climbing a mountain. Plan short effective trips.

Use your multi-tasking skills effectively-Practice doing two things at the same time: for example, make out a grocery list or do your exercises while you talk on the phone; fold the laundry as you watch television; or clean the bathroom while the tub fills.

Above all, do not rush. “Haste makes waste” is a cliche, but it is as true today as it was when it was first uttered by someone who knew the faster he or she tried to do something, the more likely it was an accident would occur.

Your social life: Recognize that you do not have to uphold your former standards of hospitality for friends and relatives who drop in to see you, unexpectedly or by appointment. Put a sign on the door during nap times so you can rest or even nap. Wary is the door knocker who sees a sign (Baby sleeping- do NOT knock). Refuse to let anyone who has a cold or other illness into the same room (or house). It is ok to say “we will catch up when all is well”. The parents among your visitors will understand all this perfectly, and if others do not, don’t worry. Your baby’s health and well-being, and your own, are of primary importance always. This certainly does not mean you must — or should — give up seeing friends and going out altogether or never do the things you enjoy. It only means your priorities have changed when you have a baby in your household, and you’re not required to continue any old habits you’ve outgrown or you wish to put aside for a time.

There are some awesome playgroups. The juggle is nap times. Find one that suits your schedule.

You time– There are many ways you can reorganize your schedule to allow time for yourself, and your social life, even if the time allotted is much less than it was pre baby. By making a conscious effort to schedule these periods, you’re giving yourself much-needed respite. Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for your baby — like they say, if mummy’s happy=baby’s happy=Happy mummy=happy household!!

Help! why won’t my toddler sleep?

I LOVE toddlers. I should- I have had 3! I have learnt so much about life from simply stepping back and observing their innocence and basic inquisitive way of how simple the world can be- before we grow up. Wanting to preserve that innocence and enhance it to become a part of their authentic being.  So yes, when it comes to sleep issues,  they are my most common client  in the family home.  This age and drive for independence makes them tough little characters to please!

On average toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. When they reach about 18 months of age their naptimes will decrease to once a day lasting about one to three hours.

Many toddlers experience sleep problems including resisting going to bed and night time awakenings. Night time fears and nightmares are also common. Many factors can lead to sleep problems. Toddlers’ drive for independence and an increase in their motor, cognitive and social abilities can interfere with sleep. In addition, their ability to get out of bed, separation anxiety, the need for autonomy and the development of the child’s imagination can lead to sleep problems. Daytime sleepiness and behaviour problems may signal poor sleep or a sleep problem.

Chronically over tired children may not seem tired, and don’t always act tired. They will always resist sleep and need us to help them form good sleep habits.

Signs of over tired toddlers are:

-tend to be whiny, fussy or clingy

-sucks thumb, finger, or wants to suckle other than at bedtimes.

-carries blanket, stuffed toy around during the day.

-is hyperactive, especially at times when you think they should be tired.

-is overly stubborn.

-has regular temper tantrums, or easily becomes upset or angry.

-has difficulty falling asleep when put to bed

-falls asleep frequently when in car, bus or train.

-falls asleep in front of TV

-sometime’s falls asleep on the couch or floor before bedtime.

-takes a long time to become alert and awake in the morning.

-does not appear to be well rested and full of energy.

-doesn’t seem as happy as she should be.

Key Points   to help your toddler slip into sleep.             

-Maintain a daily sleep schedule and consistent bedtime routine.

-Make the bedroom environment the same every night and throughout the night.

-Set limits that are consistent, communicated and enforced. Encourage use of his favourite stuffed toy or comforter.

-All children need a comforting bedtime routine, and they need it from early infancy right up through the school years. It gives them a healthy sense of predictability and it’s a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to slow down and reconnect peacefully at the end of the day.

-Give your toddler choices before bed like which pjs does he/she want to wear, which book may he/she want to read or what extra toy (quiet), he/ she might want to take to bed.  It will make him/her  feel in control and make him/her less likely to resist when it’s time for light’s out. Think about creating your own unique bedtime ritual which you will share for years come: a special song, sharing two things you liked about your day, reading out loud, prayers, blessings or sending kisses and love to others.

-Done right, bedtime can be a special, loving time to celebrate closeness; a time your child will look forward to and cherish. If two parents take turns at bedtime, they don’t have to follow an identical script but should have a similar routine, style and response to any bedtime power plays, fears or stalling.

-A soothing bedtime routine signals the body and brain to slow down and prepare for sleep. The tone of bedtime should be calm, quiet and reassuring as you prepare your kid to separate from you all night.

I emphasize strongly every child is an individual and it’s important to listen to the cues that your toddler is giving you. What may have worked for your friend/sister/neighbour doesn’t necessarily work for another. Clear rules and parental consistency is essential for transitioning sleep situations…mixed liberally with plenty of love, cuddles, and kisses!

And MOST importantly be wary that your expectations are that of an adult not as a 12,15,18 or 24 month old.